Our San Fernando Valley team attended Movie Fest at CSU Northridge. Our own superheroes played games, ate food, and watched Wonder Woman together. It was the perfect summer night with a great team!
Several members of our leadership team got a chance to attend ABAI 2018 May 26-28th. The annual convention was held in San Diego, CA and was filled with presentations, panels, lectures, professional development, workshops, and networking events. The program contained contributions of 1,713 participants from nearly 50 countries. The annual convention attracts researchers, clinicians, and students from around the world for continuing education and behavior science dissemination. In addition to our team presenters, Behavior Frontiers hosted a booth offering information about our treatment services, training opportunities, and employment information for our offices in over 20 locations. For more information about the convention, visit abaiinternational.org.
Everyone can find an artist inside! The team at headquarters enjoyed a fun paint night in and created some amazing masterpieces. "Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.” — Henry Ward Beecher
Our team members in all of our offices stepped up to the challenge this week with an Ugly Sweater Contest. So many entries and such fantastic options to vote on. The winners were announced! Congratulations to everyone on some truly spectacular sweaters. It's the best way to kick off the holidays - with a little fun and a laugh.
Disability Rights Legal Center attorney, Elizabeth Eubanks, will be presenting at the Consortium of Advocates, Parents, & Parent Partners on Monday, September 26, at 11:30 a.m. at the Lancaster Library. She will be sharing information and answering questions related to special education rights and responsibilities. Space is still available! We recommend this informative evening to any parent or caregiver interested in finding out more about Individual Education Plans (IEP).
The Los Angeles office got into the team spirit by proudly wearing team jerseys.
It is quite clear we have some very talented people on our team! The Social Committee would like to thank everyone that took the time to participate in the Door Decorating Contest and Pumpkin Carving Contest. They received some fantastic entries! Please join us in congratulating the winners!
Door Decorating Contest
- First Place: Mariah Keys - Dallas Office
- Second Place: Jocelyn Bennett and Danielle Acevedo - Riverside Office
Special Note from Jocelyn and Danielle: "The ghost door is full of our Spooktacular kids handprints. They also wrote what they are going to be for Halloween! The B and the F (to represent Behavior Frontiers) - we glued individual eyeballs!"
- Third Place: Colleen McKenzie - San Diego Office
Special Note from Colleen: "There is a bat for each of our clients and staff here in San Diego"
Pumpkin Carving Contest
- First Place: Omar Rodriguez - Long Beach Behavior Instructor
- Second Place: Patrick Ebrahamian - Pasadena Behavior Instructor
- Third Place: Mary Points - San Jose Case Manager
Thank you for everyone who participated!
Our amazing Orange County office team ran, slid, jumped and crawled their way through 5 kilometers of mud and dirt...all to help raise autism awareness by supporting TACA (Talk About Curing Autism). Hardwork, dedication and teamwork at its finest! They spent the epic day working together and supporting each other to get to the finish line and we couldn't be more proud to have them on the Behavior Frontiers team!
Congratulations to Grace Gomez and Cindy Williams (Santohigashi) who are celebrating 10 Years at Behavior Frontiers!
Grace Gomez began her employment with Behavior Frontiers on June 25, 2005. Early in Grace's senior year of college, Helen passed out employment flyers outside Grace's psychology class at UCLA. Grace held onto this flyer and remembered our company throughout the rest of her senior year. Grace joined Behavior Frontiers shortly after graduating from UCLA. Grace continued her education while at Behavior Frontiers and received her masters from Cal State Long Beach. Subsequently, Grace took the additional BCBA coursework, passed the BCBA exam and became a Behavior Supervisor at Behavior Frontiers. In 2010, Grace told us that she was moving to Texas with her fiancé, Charles, who is now her husband. We did not want Grace to leave Behavior Frontiers, so Grace decided to open a Behavior Frontiers office in Dallas as a clinical director. This was our first additional office. We did not have any clients in this area, so Grace did all the groundwork to set up the new office, get new clients and hire and train new instructors. Although it was not always easy, Grace maintained a positive attitude and was willing to do whatever it took to ensure that the office succeeded. Grace has continued to grow the Dallas office and allow us to provide exceptional services to children in Texas. We are proud of everything that Grace has given to Behavior Frontiers and our clients.
Thank you Grace for all that you have done over the past 10 years! We look forward to your continued journey with Behavior Frontiers!
Cindy Williams (Santohigashi)
Cindy began her employment with Behavior Frontiers on July 6, 2005, after graduating from UCLA and shortly after we had moved into our current (although a lot smaller) office in LA as the administrative assistant. The office was so new that we did not even have a chair for Cindy to sit on in the lobby when she came in for her interview. Although she had no chair, Cindy could still see the vision of Behavior Frontiers. After Cindy started working at Behavior Frontiers, she got a shiny, new, black Honda Civic. Cindy's role quickly expanded as we grew and she became the office scheduler and then the scheduling coordinator. As we hired additional schedulers, Cindy began to take on billing, HR and compliance tasks. In recent years, Cindy has focused more on the billing and compliance tasks, but still knows almost everything about almost everything in our company. It would be shocking if there is anyone in the company who does not know who Cindy is. Cindy has been the backbone of the company for so many years, and we truly are grateful for everything she has given to the company. The success of Behavior Frontiers is due in large part to the efforts of Cindy over the years. And through it all, Cindy still has her black(ish) and not-so-shiny-and-new, Honda Civic!
Thank you Cindy for all your hard work, long hours, great attitude, smiles and laughs over the past 10 years! We look forward to your next role within Behavior Frontiers!
The first hearing has been set for April 27th, 2015 in front of the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee.
Help move SB 479 (Behavior Analyst Licensure Bill) through its first hearing in the Senate.
THE GOAL: Generate 200 letters of support for SB 479 by April 20th.
The voices of practitioners and families receiving our services are especially important right now. We need everyone to write a letter of support by April 20th!
Here's how to do it:
1. Read and share the Call To Action from CalABA.
2. Use the following letter templates to get started:
- Letter from professional
- Letter from family member
- Letter from agency to parents requesting family letters
3. Ask families explicitly to write a letter of support.
- The letters should emphasize why SB 479 is personally important and should avoid getting too technical. Remind them to use the templates to get started.
- Practitioners should use care and caution when approaching families to write letters of support. We don't want families to feel coerced into supporting our bill. Our first professional obligation is to our consumers and their families.
4. Send 1 copy of each letter to EVERY member of the Senate Committee on Business, Professions, and Economic Development.
- Contact information can be found on p. 2 of the Call to Action handout.
REMEMBER: THE DEADLINE IS April 20th!
Save the Date! Our Executive Director, Helen Mader, will be presenting at the Kiwanis Club Hall (2515 Valley Dr, Hermosa Beach, CA) on Monday April 13th. She will discuss the latest updates regarding Medi-Cal coverage of ABA for autism in California. She will provide information regarding Medi-Cal eligibility, comprehensive diagnostic evaluations, required qualifications of providers, continuity of care requirements, regional center client transitions, co-pays, rates, local Medi-Cal health plans and managed care plan options, and state complaint contacts. She will also discuss how parents can take action to fight for the best Medi-Cal options for their children. Q & A will follow.
With the holidays rapidly approaching, families start to prepare for the onslaught of copious amounts of food, time spent with family, family visitors, shopping, decorating, school vacations, and all the expected hustle and bustle of the holiday session.
Not only do the holidays emphasize good times, Yule tide, and cheer the season also brings along elevated levels of stress for families, this can be especially true for families of children with autism.
Schedule changes, unexpected transitions, unstructured time, and even a break in services can lead to children experiencing increased stress and can lead to their parents and families feeling increased amounts of stress. Here are some tips to help reduce the holiday stress for your child and hopefully yourself as well:
Planning and Preparation – Help your child prepare for the holiday session. Make family trips, school end/start dates, and other important events on a calendar that the child can see. Help count down or review upcoming events so your child will be prepared.
Limit Surprises – Limit unexpected events or visitors, remind your child of what to expect, what behavior is expected, and what will be occurring during the day.
Reinforce Behavior – Establish what the child can earn daily or throughout the day for engaging in appropriate behavior. Explain what is expected and what the child will earn to increase positive behaviors.
Small Changes – If you are anticipating decorating the house, do it in small steps instead of changing the environment all on one day. Perhaps hang lights one day, decorate interior the next, then the tree, and then final trimmings.
Keep a Consistent Schedule - Even if school or services pause over the holidays continue to have the child wake up around the same time, complete the daily dressing routine, follow the same eating schedule, and keep the night routine as consistent as possible.
Practice, Practice, Practice – Create opportunities for learning; social stories, role-play, model what is polite and appropriate behavior when receiving gifts, waiting for others to open gifts, or when visiting another adult’s house.
Relaxation Strategies – Practice calming and relaxation strategies if you or your child is experiencing increased levels of stress or if they are over stimulated.
Be Flexible – Many times things won’t go as planned or simple events like shopping take longer than expected, that is ok, remember to remain calm and go with the flow
Enjoy Your Child – Make time to enjoy your child by sharing a fun activity or just being with your child, remember sometimes things are hard for them but with some forethought and planning you can help to reduce the stress that comes with the holiday session.
It's time of year again. It's time to start prepping for a fun night of Trick or Treating. We want to help you make sure everyone has a safe and fun experience. We created this post for creating an autism friendly Halloween and we have also updated this helpful print out to use for non-verbal children or children who need a little assistance trick or treating. Happy Halloween! Download the free printable here.
Time to go back to school! It is a very exciting time of year, full of possibilities for all of our young students. This time of year can also be a little stressful, as schedule changes tend to be. Here are some tips for making the beginning of school awesome!
- Label everything with your child’s name or initials (clothes, backpack, lunch boxes, etc.)
- If your child is going to a new school or new class, schedule a meeting (in-person or phone) with the school personal to talk about your child and specific strategies that will help make the beginning of the year successful
- Keep open communication with the school support staff throughout the first several days of school to see how you can help your child
- If you know ahead of time, take photos of your child’s new classroom, teacher, support staff, playground, office, etc. and make your child a photo book
Here is an example of a photo book you could name and label for your child to review:
Summer is the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy some new activities. One of the best ways to beat the heat but enjoy the weather could be in a swimming pool, the beach or at neighborhood splash pad. Many children with special needs are fond of water but don't always understand the risks and dangers involved. If your summer plans call for water play and/or swimming, here are some helpful tips to remember.
The best way to keep anyone safe is to never lose sight of the swimmer. Always be within arm's reach in any situation. Older kids may need some independence - and building confidence is extremely important - but staying close is always the best approach to take.
The right life jacket or flotation device that meets the size requirements and needs of the child is critical. If you have any doubt about the jacket (adaptive or otherwise), you can visit this page for guidance.
To help find the right gear for water safety, whether it's flotation devices, earplugs, or toys, visit this page for a comprehensive list of products available here.
Splash pads are an innovative way to stay cool in hot weather and is a great alternative to a pool or body of water. Play structures with water play can be stimulating and interactive but safety precautions should be as important as open water safety guidelines. Children should wear protective clothing and the right footwear. Splash pads can be slippery so the right non-skid water shoe will help avoid any missteps or falls.
General safety reminders:
- Always drain small pools when not in use, put safety gates around all hot tubs and pools or motion sensors around water features.
- Keep a supply of sunscreen and protective headwear.
- Start swim lessons early and if your child struggles with swimming, look for adaptive swim lessons in your area. Taking the class together will help you understand the techniques and survival skills to make the experience fun for everyone.
Enjoy your summer and stay safe!
As we take this time to celebrate our 10 years in business, we are reminded why we decided to take on the endeavor of opening Behavior Frontiers. Our mission has always been to provide each family and child with the highest quality individualized behavioral services possible and to provide our therapist and therapy network of supportive members the highest quality training in ABA therapy techniques.
One goal seems clear above all. To provide a collaborative, educational and research-based approach, empowering the entire family to achieve their potential for life-long growth....for all the families at Behavior Frontiers to receive “priority” treatment in regard to staffing, scheduling, programming, and overall time commitment. Behavior Frontiers is an agency in which families and employees are valued and respected throughout all aspects of the treatment program.
Watching the successes of the children and families we work with means we are achieving what we set out to do and more. We appreciate everyone who has shared this journey with us and continue to grow onwards and upwards.